Lauren K Alleyne

Lauren K Alleyne

Bios & Bookmarks is just one of the new online offerings being rolled out by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest as people everywhere suffer the loss of the outdoor life. The literary NGO is ramping up its live virtual programming in an effort to connect book lovers at home and throughout the diaspora with the plethora of superb Caribbean writers.

Today at 2 p.m., the second in this series presents award-winning US-based TT writer and educator Lauren K Alleyne, whose second collection of poems Honeyfish (Peepal Tree Press) was shortlisted in the poetry category of the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize. Alleyne’s writing covers poetry, fiction and non-fiction but she is also active in the promotion and advancement of under-represented poets.

Last Sunday (5 April), the NGC Bocas Lit Fest premiered its Bios & Bookmarks “Instagram Live” series, a weekly conversation between Caribbean authors and acclaimed poet Shivanee Ramlochan, also the social media coordinator for the region’s premier annual literary festival.

The inaugural hour-long digital event featured TT author Caroline Mackenzie reading from her debut novel One Year of Ugly and fielding questions from Ramlochan and a virtual audience tuned in on the popular social media platform from the comfort of their homes.

“It may be a time for social distancing, but this global pandemic shutdown provides a great opportunity to get a little up close and personal with our Caribbean writers, new and familiar, across the region and elsewhere. We think, more than anything else, the positive feedback from our first session revealed that this may be yet another way for us to feed our community, to share comfort, laughter and insights, as we navigate these uncertain times,” says Festival founder and director Marina Salandy-Brown.

Members of the public are invited to join the conversation, pose questions and share perspectives by following Bocas Lit Fest (@bocaslitfest) on Instagram. Today’s virtual event will start promptly at 2 p.m.

Updates on upcoming weekly episodes of Bios & Bookmarks will be available across all Bocas Lit Fest social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and at For further details, email

TT’s annual literary festival is scheduled for 18-20 September. Its title sponsor is the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago. First Citizens is lead sponsor, The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and OCM are main sponsors. NLCB, Massy Foundation and UWI are sponsors.


Two purple gallinules paused in their strut across the grasses, the stark white feathers under their tails twitching characteristically, eyes alert for any untoward movement. I raised my camera and immediately they bolted for the nearest stand of fringing vegetation and climbed to safer heights.

A tearful, grief-stricken Crazy (Edwin Ayoung) began making phone calls just after 6 a.m. yesterday to let everyone know that his friend, archetypical songwriter Winsford “Joker” Devine, had died. Devine had written songs for and co-written songs with Crazy throughout his career and the two had developed a close friendship over the years.

In keeping with the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services’ vision of being a dynamic service-driven organisation that delivers premium social services towards the achievement of sustainable human and social development, the Information Communication Technology Division in partnership with the Corporate Communications and Education Unit developed an intranet platform, #mysocial.

EVEN though the majority of people who contract Covid-19 (around 85 per cent) do recover, that does not take away from the fact that it remains a highly infectious and deadly virus.

Experts have warned that mild Covid symptoms can deteriorate rather quickly and become life threatening. That explains why Covid-19 symptoms should be monitored closely and taken very seriously.

The power of M is strong in the Montano family.

Winston Montano, the patriarch of the clan is fondly called Mr Monty. His sons Marcus and Machel combine to create an M squared of their own. And of course, the most famous of the lot Machel goes by the names Double M and Monk.

“We were moving into Siparia and while passing in the van I see this boy fighting in the road. I say ‘yo, go down the hill by that house you will meet two boys; play with them’. That was around 1982. From that day onwards Farmer and my boys were inseparable.”